Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

sunset_2013I am listening to the album by Tomasz Bednarczyk entitled: “Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow.” This strikes me as a very dharmic statement, something the Buddha might have encouraged.

This bit of wisdom recognizes that mistakes are happening all the time. The desire to avoid mistakes is impossible. We are going to make mistakes and make them everyday, all through the day. Our aspiration can be to make better mistakes, to learn from our experiences, and persist with being flawed and growing human beings.


I feel more relaxed already! The pressure to be perfect is pernicious and can contaminate almost everything we do. It can be so embedded in our perceptions that we don’t even recognize that it is there. Life comes with no instruction book. We are all fumbling around trying to figure this thing out.

Since there is no rulebook, there is no way to know in every instance whether what we have chosen is the right choice.

We’d never learn anything if we didn’t make mistakes. Science would not progress. Writers would not create great works of literature. Athletes would not break world records.

My friend the artist Erik Odin Cathcart recently said, “If I didn’t learn the hard way, I wouldn’t learn anything at all.” I couldn’t agree more.


We can aim for good enough and that helps things to feel less tyrannical. If we approach life as a performance, then we are bound to be tense. If we approach life as a work-in-progress, then we can experiment, play, and laugh at ourselves when we fall down.

Embracing mistakes is not to excuse half-hearted efforts. When we seek to make better mistakes we are committed to growing ourselves as human beings. Every experience, especially mistakes, has something to teach. We can learn from the things that work and the ones that don’t.

When we invite mindfulness into our lives, we invite this commitment to learning as well. Mindfulness practice will make our mistakes, departures, and shortcomings all the more apparent. At the same time, we develop a non-judgmental stance towards our imperfections. We’ll be better people in the next moment (and the one after that …)


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ari

    Nice Arnie!

    I’ve been on a similar wave recently, articulating it to myself as rigidity vs. spaciousness and noticing how much more beneficial it is to dwell on the spacious side of the spectrum as much as possible.

    Hope and trust all is well my friend and that you’re once again enjoying the beautiful Vermont fall. I miss that place.

Previous Posts

S is for Sangha
Mindfulness A to Z official release is here! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Sangha" The sangha is the community of people who follow the teachings of the Buddha, or more generically, anyone who engages in mindfulness meditation. When ...

posted 10:31:30am Sep. 22, 2015 | read full post »

E is for Effort
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "E is for Effort" We may need to encourage ourselves gently in the direction of practice. Challenges arise. Daily life is complicated and busy; it may seem like we ...

posted 3:25:12pm Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »

S is for Self
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Self" Who are you? Emily Dickinson would reply: I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Most of us would naturally reply, “I am me.” More ...

posted 10:28:58am Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »

N is for Nature
Mindfulness A to Z official release is 2 days away! Here is an excerpt from "N is for Nature" Practicing outside helps to break down the artificial separation we sometimes impose between “practice” and the rest of the world. Rather than ...

posted 10:23:22am Sep. 20, 2015 | read full post »

L is for Loving-kindness
Mindfulness A to Z official release is 3 days away! Here is an excerpt from "L is for Loving-kindness" Buddhism retains a very strong tradition of deliberately opening our hearts to others. This practice is called “loving-kindness” or ...

posted 10:23:00am Sep. 19, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.